Thursday, June 30, 2011


"It was at Balmoral that I learned my first lesson in the male anatomy. My mentor was the King’s younger brother, the Duke of Gloucester, who unfortunately never quite mastered the correct technique of adjusting the kilt when seated."

- The Honourable Margaret Rhodes, from her memoir "The Last Curtsey"

Friday, June 17, 2011

New in Clapham


The new Library Building on Clapham High Street is shooting up and is due for completion in September this year. Very exciting, as we'll have a brand new library and swimming pool here in SW4. The developers get 136 new apartments to flog, to help pay for the public amenities.

You won't find any information on the website about the new civic facilities, just a rather crass commercial hard sell. However, the relentless, hysterical grip on its target demographic is rather amusing:

[Edit: video now removed as too annoying!}

No grannies need apply!

I suppose the target punters will be shocked to find such an archaic insitution as a library in the basement. They may enjoy the swimming pool, however. It will be interesting to see how public and private interact as the building comes to life.

'The New" is actually so old - such a watered-down, pale pastiche of Frank Gehry's oeurvre, an architect whose style, so amazing in the 90s, is already slipping into the past. Do we deserve better public buildings? I suppose the rather magnificent Battersea Library extension was also architecturally retrogressive when it was built in the 1920s. It was however proud to be a library.